Canada's most ambitious student opera company
Under the direction of Professor Nancy Hermiston, UBC Opera educates and promotes gifted young opera singers while preparing them for international careers.
The UBC Opera Ensemble was founded in 1995, with the appointment of Canadian lyric coloratura Nancy Hermiston as Chair of the Voice and Opera Divisions. Beginning with a core of seven performers, Ms. Hermiston has built the program to a 90-member company, now performing three main productions at UBC every season, six Opera Tea Concerts, and several engagements with local community partners, including Vancouver Opera, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Bard on the Beach, and Vancouver Bach Choir.
2019/20 Season Overview
The Singer Behind the Song | Luca Pisaroni | Oct. 19, 2019
Sondra Radvanovsky Benefit Recital | Oct. 30, 2019
The Singer Behind the Song | Sondra Radvanovsky | Oct. 31, 2019 (Masterclass only)
Les Contes d’Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffman) | Nov. 2-3 & 8-9, 2019
Symposium | 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz | Jan. 27–29, 2020
Pasażerka (The Passenger) | Jan. 30-31 & Feb. 1-2, 2020
The Singer Behind the Song | Jane Archibald | Mar. 11, 2020
Il viaggio a Reims (The Journey to Reims) | Jun. 13-14 & 19-20, 2020
Opera Tea Series | Sept. 29, Nov. 24, 2019 | Mar. 1, Apr. 5, 2020
WATCH: Highlights from UBC Opera's 2014 production of "The Cunning Little Vixen"
Training tomorrow's opera professionals today
The mission at UBC Opera is to educate and promote gifted, young opera singers, while preparing them for international careers.
Past productions have included Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte, Die Gärtnerin aus Liebe, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi, La Bohème, Dido and Aeneas, The Merry Widow, The Bartered Bride, Manon, Eugene Onegin, Florence Lady with the Lamp, Falstaff, Don Giovanni, Cendrillon, Albert Herring, Rusalka, Robert Ward’s The Crucible, and the Western Canadian Premiere of Harry Somer’s Louis Riel. (See our full performance archive here.)
The ensemble has performed with Canadian Heldentenor Ben Heppner at the Chan Centre of the Performing Arts, for a special broadcast on CBC Radio. They also produced the world premiere of the new Canadian opera The Dream Healer, by West Vancouver composer Lloyd Burritt, based on Timothy Findley’s novel Pilgrim.
WATCH: Kallie Clayton (Master's student), Sheldon Baxter (BMus'14, MMus'15), and Alireza Mojibian (BMus'15, Master's student) describe the amazing opportunities afforded to students in the UBC Opera Program.
An award-winning, touring opera company
The Opera Ensemble tours regularly to the Czech Republic, Germany, Ontario, and throughout British Columbia. They have performed at the Usti nad Labem City Theatre, and The Teplice Opera House, as well as in neighbouring cities in the Czech Republic.
Past productions include: Die Gärtnerin aus Liebe, Xerses, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, The Cunning Little Vixen, Faust, Manon, Die Fledermaus, Carmen, La Bohème, Don Giovanni, Giulio Cesare, Così fan tutte, Die Zauberflöte, Le nozze di Figaro, and Rusalka. The ensemble has had the privilege of performing Die Gärtnerin aus Liebe, Così fan tutte, and Die Zauberflöte, in Prague’s Estates Theatre where Mozart premiered his Don Giovanni.
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Banner images by Tim Matheson | Miles Linklater